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Madeleine discovers commuting and discusses her 2014 cycling year…

Madeleine discovers commuting and discusses her 2014 cycling year…

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I've finally discovered the joy of cycle commuting. Why did it take so long?


Well to be honest the walk to university campus only takes 20 minutes, so my "commute" is pretty measly, but if I woke up in time to do it three times over every day then there'd be no stopping me!

In fact, every car that you glide past boosts your smugness factor (you are on a superior form of transport and saving the ozone layer etc) in such a way that you arrive at your destination feeling so great that you don't even mind that you can't feel your fingers. Or that your right trouser leg has been ruined. I'm not-so-quietly confident that this is why cyclists are going to take over the world, since positive mental attitude (PMA) is key to productivity.

Applying PMA to training therefore increases performance. I definitely sometimes forget this, especially when I had to re-take my threshold test... But browsing the British Cycling events calendar shows lots of early season events to help put a spring in your step!

It’s a good idea from a training perspective, to get some of these events in your calendar, so that you know exactly what you’re working for in what timescales. I, for example, am planning to start with smaller distances so that I won’t be out for too long in the cold (but I have to bear in mind that I have about two months until the Paris-Roubaix sportive). It’s best to make your nutrition/ equipment mistakes on these shorter rides because you really don’t want to get your clothing wrong on a 150km ride; that would be miserable.

Having a big event in the early stages of the year is something that I have now realized that I should be using as motivation – for example, when I was seven minutes in to my threshold test, I was thinking along the lines of “I’m only a third of the way through this, why does it always take for EVER…” but I should have put my head down and seen cobbles and visualized overtaking the French.

Even as I write this now, I am psyching myself up for my Wattbike session this afternoon (The Sufferfest ‘Downward Spiral’ interval video uses Paris Roubaix video footage!)…